Friday, November 26, 2021
TOP 10 LIFE LIFTERS: For the next few weeks, we'll be re-releasing some of the top Life Lifters we've ever published since we started this devotional series. Join us as we look back at popular topics like prayer, joy, trust, and hope!
Boy, these are anxious times. Between world events, COVID, our economy, jobs, etc., there's so much to be anxious about. If we focus on the things of this world, a lot of anxiousness. Maybe you feel anxiety because of some personal things going on in your own life, some family things, some marriage things, or some things with your kids. It's so easy to get anxious, nervous, and discontented inside. The Bible has an answer to that. The Bible says you can find joy through your anxious times. Whatever times you're going through that are leading to anxiety, you can replace your anxiety with joy. How do you do that? Let's look at Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
So, he says, "Do not be anxious about anything." It's like, "Oh, thanks. Just don't be anxious." But then Paul explains, "but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." What's Paul saying? The way you avoid being anxious about anything is to pray about everything. Whenever you feel anxiety, pray on it. Whenever you feel anxious about this, that, or the other, pray for this, that or the other. Anxiety and prayer to God cannot coexist. Prayer will always bring a defeat of anxiety. Why? Because of the rest of the verse. Paul says, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." That's the result. When you are anxious about anything. You pray about everything, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and mind in Christ Jesus. First, it'll guard your hearts. The word guard means to establish a century guard, a powerful protective guard that is virtually impenetrable. He'll guard your heart. What is your heart? It is your emotions, the seat of your emotions. In the Hebrew Old Testament, the heart was considered a seat of the human emotional system. It will guard your emotions.
God's peace will also guard your mind, because where does anxiety start? In the mind. We have thoughts that we just rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. We replay them, rehearse them, replay them, rehearse them, replay them, rehearse them. We ask ourselve, "What am I going to do? How am I going to get out? How am I going to do it?" And it's all about anxiety. If you pray when you're anxious, your heart or your emotions, and your mind and your thoughts will be kept at peace in Christ Jesus. Try it. Pray. If we did as much praying as we did worrying, we would have an awful lot less to worry about. Pray every time you're anxious. Catch it early. It's like a disease, the earlier you catch it, the likelier It is to be resolved quickly. The minute you're feeling self anxious, say, "God help me not be anxious about that. You've got it." If your job is stressful, say, "God help me not be anxious about my job, you control everything." Your family is mess? Don't be anxious about it, say, "God help me to do the best thing I can do for my family. Help me to control my controllables and realize that I'm only one person. Everybody else has to do whatever else they're going to do." I'm telling you right now, if you want joy, you can have joy through times of anxiety if you'll pray and experience God's peace in your heart and in your mind. Are you willing to do that? Every time you're anxious, pray.
Let's pray. Father, I pray right now that whatever is bothering me and whatever is bothering anybody watching this life lifter, I pray that they would lift it up to you, God. I pray right now to just give it to God. Say, "God, I'm anxious about such and such. I'm anxious about this. I'm anxious about that." Tell him tell him in your own words. Pour out your heart to him. He's a God of refuge. God, as they pour out their prayers to you now and throughout the day, week, month, year, and throughout the rest of their life, give us the answer to this promise that you'll give us a peace that guards our heart and our minds in your son Jesus Christ. I claim this for them. I claim this for me, in Jesus' name, amen.